Reputation Management During High-Profile Divorces: How to Protect Your Good Name
No one ever expects their divorce to become a high-profile media circus, but for celebrities and other high-profile individuals, it can happen all too easily. When divorce proceedings become public knowledge, every little detail is scrutinized by the press and in the court of public opinion. If you are going through a high-profile divorce, it is more important than ever to take the necessary steps to protect your reputation.
This starts with hiring a family law attorney who has experience working with high-profile clients dealing with family law litigation. Unlike other cases, family law cases, especially separation and divorce cases, tend to involve bearing the most sensitive details about a high-profile litigant, from financial details and earning capacity to medical concerns, and even sometimes exposing intimate sexual details of one party or the other. There are a few key things you can do to safeguard your reputation during a high-profile divorce:
- Keep your cool.
During divorce proceedings, it is easy to get wrapped up in the emotion of the situation. However, it is important to remember that anything you say or do can and will be used against you in court. Avoid making any statements to the press or on social media without your attorney’s knowledge and advice (in advance), but even when your attorney okays a statement, make sure you never say anything that could be construed as negative.
It is also important to avoid behaving in a way that could be considered inappropriate or unbecoming. Even if you are unhappy with your divorce proceedings, refrain from lashing out in public or on social media about the process, the laws of your state, the attorneys, or the judge(s) hearing your case. Not only will this make you look bad, but it can also be used against you during the process.
If you are having a difficult time managing your emotions, ask your attorney to arrange for private therapy services so a therapist can help you in processing your thoughts and feelings in a safe and confidential setting.
- Stay quiet.
Try to avoid discussing the divorce proceedings with anyone other than your attorney and close friends or family members whom you know you can trust. The more people who are aware of the details of your divorce, the greater the chance that information will leak to the press (or the opposing party), where it is more likely to be twisted and taken out of context to achieve the click-bait headlines from which most gossip websites make their biggest profits.
In addition, anything you say to your attorney is protected by the attorney-client privilege, so you can feel free to speak openly and candidly about your divorce proceedings without fear that your words will be used against you. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the divorce process and need someone to talk to, consider hiring a divorce coach if your attorney recommends one, as this is someone who can provide emotional support and guidance throughout the divorce process.
- Manage the Public Relations at all Times.
While most high-profile individuals are already familiar with public relations and may even have a PR person on staff, managing the PR around a family law case such as a divorce or child custody case may take a special set of skills that your regular PR team is not prepared to handle. Talk to your attorney as soon as possible about hiring the best PR team in the jurisdiction the case will be heard. A local PR team will have the best connections to the local press and media, who can play a big part in setting the tone of media coverage once the national media swoop in to cover the story.
An experienced divorce attorney will also be able to help you anticipate the issues the media coverage will likely target and be able to prepare you for what to expect at every stage of the case. He will also be able to properly advise you when and how to use confidential alternative dispute resolution methods for issues that would otherwise create negative media coverage if handled in open court. By being prepared for every possible outcome with regard to media coverage, you can help ensure that your side of the story is always told in a way that protects your reputation and interests.
While going through a high-profile separation or divorce is never easy, it is important to remember that how you handle yourself during the divorce process can have a lasting impact on your reputation. By following the tips above, you can help protect your name and ensure that you emerge from the divorce proceedings with your reputation intact.
If you are currently going through a divorce or are considering one, contact an experienced divorce attorney in your area to discuss your options and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process. If you’re in South Carolina, it’s important to contact an experienced family court attorney like Ben Stevens today to discuss your specific situation. Even if you aren’t in South Carolina, Mr. Stevens is happy to offer referrals to a well-qualified attorney located in your state.
Mr. Stevens is a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and he is a Board-Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. If you or someone you know is facing a divorce, separation, child custody, visitation, or other family law case, contact our office at (864) 598-9172 or SCFamilyLaw@offitkurman.com to schedule a consultation.
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Contact our office at (864) 598-9172 or SCFamilyLaw@offitkurman.com to schedule an initial consultation.
ABOUT J. BENJAMIN STEVENS
Ben.Stevens@offitkurman.com | 864.598.9172
Aggressive, creative, and compassionate are words Ben Stevens' colleagues freely use to describe him as a divorce and family law attorney. Mr. Stevens is a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and is a Board Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is one of only two attorneys in South Carolina with those simultaneous distinctions. He has held numerous leadership positions in the AAML, and he currently serves as one of its National Vice Presidents. Mr. Stevens has a statewide practice and regularly appears all across South Carolina. His practice is focused on complex divorce and child custody cases.
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Offit Kurman, one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the United States, serves dynamic businesses, individuals and families. With 17 offices and nearly 250 lawyers who counsel clients across more than 30 areas of practice, Offit Kurman helps maximize and protect business value and personal wealth by providing innovative and entrepreneurial counsel that focuses on clients’ business objectives, interests and goals. The firm is distinguished by the quality, breadth and global reach of its legal services and a unique operational structure that encourages a culture of collaboration. For more information, visit www.offitkurman.com.
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